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January 2012
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AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller

If you have hiked, or considered hiking the Appalachian Trail, or just want to know more about the experience, then I highly recommend reading David Miller’s AWOL on the Appalachian Trail.  It is free from Amazon Prime members via the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

Technology is so ingrained in our daily lives, that we have to physically escape from it.  Hiking the Appalachian Trail provides a chance to get away, face an unknown adventure, and to get to know other hikers and their experiences.

The AT can be hiked by section, or it can be hiked all the way through.  Hikers who make it all the way from Georgia to Maine are called “thru hikers.”  Some thru hikers go the purist route and hike the trail all the way through, and others skip sections and come back later.  To me, I’d just barrel through it and get it over with.  The sense of accomplishment at the end is much sweeter when you don’t have to worry about going back to other parts.

I love Miller’s easy, familiar writing style.  All of the hikers have trail names.  Miller encounters the same ones throughout his journey, and mentions their names like they’re old friends.  I chuckled a time or two at the more colorful characters.

Miller also gives advice on what to bring and things not to do.  Carry the lightest load possible.  there are stops along the way.  I was surprised to read that that there were so many shelters along the trail.

In short, AWOL on the Appalachian Trail isn’t the greatest book ever written, but I think it is worth a read.  There are some good books in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library collection.

Robert Merivel

“Strong writing and accounting from all of the parts of the trail make it a great book for those armchair AT Hikers like myself. It is a nice mix of everyday life and what it takes on the trail, trail relationships (some good, some bad), and various observations on life and the trail. What makes it all that more surprising is it is a Self-Published book. It is definitely worthy of a more tangible publishing house.”

Wayne A. Robinson

“Just happened upon this book in the Kindle store on my new Kindle Fire and decided to give it a try. Really glad I did. I’m not particularly interested in hiking, but the author is a fine writer and the level of detail about his day-to-day journey made it feel more like a diary rather than a retrospective on his experience. Most adults with a family and a desk job can also identify with his motivation for doing the hike. I finished this quickly. Really liked Miller’s honesty and self-deprecating style too. I recommend! “

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